Pansy Division

Absurd Pop Song Romance

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Right from the top, Absurd Pop Song Romance conveys a sense that Pansy Division has evolved from its early days of no-holds-barred homocore. The first track is a brief, eerie sound sample, immediately followed by "February 17" -- a track with all the upbeat rock power of previous albums, but with a decidedly more serious, frustrated tone. On the other hand, the next track, "Sweet Insecurity," reverts to a happy, mellow pop/rock beat with sweet, self-doubting lyrics. The album proceeds to deftly flex various stylistic muscles, from anthemic rock riffs that pulse forward, to the simple power-chord pop-punk the band is renowned for. These shifts are something Pansy Division has proven to have a great talent for on its singles collections, but has not always used to full effect on its full-length albums. There is a notable movement away from predominantly sex- and queer-focused lyrics on Absurd Pop Song Romance, but singer/guitarist Jon Ginoli's earnest and humorous approach to subjects is retained in full, whether the tone is cynical or celebratory. All told, the album shows maturity of style while remaining true to Pansy Division's roots -- fun, honest, catchy, and energetic.

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